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Tejada proving to be a solid reserve for Royals

Tejada proving to be a solid reserve for Royals

Tejada proving to be a solid reserve for Royals

NEW YORK -- Miguel Tejada may have turned 39 years old in May, but he hasn't shown his age on the field. The former American League Most Valuable Player has extended his career by learning to play as a reserve, and he's batted .292 entering Tuesday and provided solid defense at both second base and third for the Royals.

That resurgence comes after Tejada essentially missed an entire season. The veteran played in 36 games last year for Triple-A Norfolk in Baltimore's organization, and prior to that, the last sighting of him in a big league uniform saw him hitting .239 in 91 games for San Francisco in 2011.

Now, the former Iron Man has recast himself as a substitute. Tejada, who put together the fifth-longest consecutive-games streak (1,152) in history, hasn't played at his former position of shortstop. But he's given the Royals enough that even manager Ned Yost is a little bit surprised.

"Maybe a little bit. But he's a very experienced player," said Yost. "He knows how to play the game. He knows how to prepare. He knows how to stay ready and he knows how to produce."

Tejada, the 2002 AL Most Valuable Player with the A's, is a long way away from the guy who drove in 150 runs for Baltimore in 2004. But Tejada has homered twice for the Royals, and he went into Tuesday's game against CC Sabathia batting .302 off left-handers this season.

"He hasn't really slowed down that much. He plays with a lot of energy," said Yost. "But yeah, it's been a little surprising how well he's played. He hasn't played shortstop yet. He's been playing second base and third base, and he's done well at both positions."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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